Once again, I want to share the definition of sophistry, because that one word describes not only all of Trump world but the Trump Organization fraud trial defense with exactness. Sophistry is: “the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.” Fallacious is “false, untrue, wrong, or based on mistaken belief.” Another word for both fallacious and sophistry is bullshit.
Alina Habba has mastered the technique of faux outrage as she depicts her client, Donald Trump, as an innocent victim, just as he does. Trump is very upset today, because for the fourth time his lawyers asked the judge for a directed verdict and for the fourth time he told them to go pound sand. The tape you’re about to see is from yesterday, when Trump was standing outside the courthouse declaring that the judge was insane and doing rotating gestures with his hand next to his head. But here’s his lawyer, making him out to be the good guy, the honest guy, and the villains are the State of New York’s elected officials and judiciary.
The “man who gives the Nobel accounting board recommendations” said that Trump’s financial statements were like the Surgeon General’s warning on a pack of cigarettes. A lot of people consider the Trump Organization and Trump himself to be cancerous, no argument there. Yes, Alina, we agree your source is credible. I would also like to point out that the source, Eli Bartov, was paid $1,350 per hour for 650 hours of work, which totals $877,500, for his testimony. That’s a lot of money. By contrast, the chief prosecution witness, Michiel McCarty, was paid roughly $350,000 for his testimony, according to ABC News.
And Mr. Bartov will return to testify, as will Trump. I do love it that Trump is taking the stand for us. You heard Habba say that her client is “so for the old America, not this America, that he will take the stand on Monday.” Oh, and we believe you. Totally. The “old America” that Trump is for is the one when he was in the White House and he and his relatives were grifting away. He does not like this “new America” he finds himself in, where he is found accountable for his malfeasance. He really does not like this situation, we quite agree.
Habba says on Monday, “we will hear more testimony from this incredibly intelligent man.”
Oh speak of that, that do I long to hear. Trump, the “incredibly intelligent man.”
This tweet was posted right under the one you read above.
Donald Trump Truth Social 09:01 PM EST 12/07/24 pic.twitter.com/F5PXZj81Qc
— Donald J. Trump Posts From His Truth Social (@TrumpDailyPosts) December 8, 2023
The second day of testimony from the defense’s expert accounting witness prompted an argument between attorneys for the two sides over the basic question of what the case is about — leading defense lawyers to make their fourth unsuccessful request for a directed verdict to end the trial.
The arguments came toward the end of direct testimony by accounting expert defense Eli Bartov, who asserted the New York attorney general’s case lacked merit because there was no evidence of any fraud on Trump’s statements of financial condition, and that any errors about the values of Trump’s properties were unintentional and therefore immaterial.
When the defense attempted to question Bartov about those values, state attorneys objected — prompting defense attorney Christopher Kise to leap from his seat.
“If they don’t call anyone to dispute our values, how have they proven their case?” Kise said.
Judge Arthur Engoron, in a pretrial ruling, already decided that Trump conducted a decade’s worth of business using fraudulent financial statements, and state attorney Kevin Wallace suggested that Bartov’s findings do not change those findings.
“You can’t use false statements in business. That’s what the summary judgment decision is all about. I think it is pretty much what the rest of this case is about,” Engoron said in response to Kise’s question.
Kise argued that if the attorney general doesn’t prove what Trump’s asset values should have been, the case is a “completely rudderless ship” that needs to be “moored to some sort of standard.”
“You can’t just say it’s a misstatement because you feel like it,” Kise argued.
“The standard is truth,” Engoron responded.
The exchange prompted Trump’s legal spokesperson, Alina Habba, to make the defense’s fourth motion for a directed verdict, arguing that Engoron is “wasting our time” if he won’t consider their expert testimony.
“They have not proven their case. They haven’t,” Habba said in her request for a directed verdict.
“Denied,” Engoron said within seconds of the request, without hearing a response from lawyers for the New York attorney general.
The standard is truth, yes. But not in Trump world. There the standard is whatever you can get away with.
The sophistry continues on Monday when the incredibly intelligent man takes the stand.